Pension and Benefits Q&A

We try to address Plan Member questions with the answers shared here.

If you have additional questions, please send an email to GSI and we will do our best to make sure they are addressed.

Changes to Health and Dental Benefits - Effective 2021

Question

When will the changes to the health and dental benefits happen?

Answer 

Changes to the plan will take effect January 2021.

Question

Will my benefits change between now and when the changes take place?

Answer 

The current plan benefits will remain the same until these changes take effect in January of 2021. Benefits may                  change for individual plan members before that time, if their eligibility changes. 

Question

Can I choose the Core stream even though I’m eligible for the Enhanced stream?

Answer 

No. Active Members who qualify for the Enhanced stream may not select Core while active. However, Members                enrolled in Enhanced while active, may choose the Core stream at time of their retirement. 

Question

Can I switch streams later if I change my mind or my circumstances change?

Answer 

 Plan members eligible for the Core stream will be given a one-time option to choose the Enhanced stream, with the          premium differential at their own cost.   

This may be done at the following points:  

  • January 2021 or 
  • at initial employment or
  • at the time of a life event, such as a change in marital status or loss of a spouse’s employment benefits

Question

What if I don’t want to be in any plan at all?

Answer 

While employed by an ELCIC congregation or other subscribing employers, all employees meeting minimum                      eligibility of 25% YMPE are required to enroll in the group benefits plan. The option to waive coverage is allowed              only if the employee’s spouse has similar coverage with their employer.

Enrollment in the national group retiree health plan is a one-time option for the plan member at time of                              termination from employment.

Question:

How can I use my health care spending account and how much will I have to spend?

Answer 

Your health care spending account acts as a supplement for expenses that may not be covered in the plan. It can                 also be used to ‘top-up’ healthcare costs that exceed your plan’s maximum coverage.

The specific amount of money available in the health care spending account for both Core & Enhanced plans will                be announced before January 2021. 

 

Question

What if my doctor requires me to use the non-generic form of prescription drugs? Can I still have those?

Answer 

Yes. The pharmacist will fill the prescription as per the physician’s instruction. You can then present your drug                  card and the lowest cost of an available drug will be applied. The balance can be paid from the health care                          spending account or cash.   

 

Question

Are any changes being made to travel health benefits? Is there a difference in travel benefits between Core & Enhanced?

Answer 

No, travel health benefits will remain the same as with the current plan. Travel benefits will be the same for both              Core & Enhanced plan members.

Remember – travel coverage ends at age 65 or termination from the active plan (i.e. travel coverage is not                          included in the retiree plan).

 

Plan Travel Benefits

Question:

The plan information states that travel health coverage ends at age 65.  If I, as a plan member am 57 and my spouse is 67, does my spouse still have the travel health coverage?

Answer:

Yes your spouse has coverage. The termination of coverage is based on the age of the plan member and the spouse’s age is not relevant as far as when a benefit terminates.

Please note that when the plan member turns 65, travel health coverage ends. Even if the spouse has not yet reached age 65, the spouse’s coverage also ends as it is tied to the member’s eligibility.